Most people are happy to receive a paycheck by mail, or perhaps with a nice, easy automatic deposit to their checking accounts—or handed to them by a boss.
But most people aren’t The Amazing Kreskin.
The famed mentalist, who has made appearances with talk show hosts ranging from the legendary Merv Griffin to Jimmy Fallon, is known for finding his appearance fees hidden somewhere—and that could mean anywhere—in the theater where he’s performing.
A typical Kreskin event includes the mentalist (real name: George Joseph Kresge) handing over his payment to a few people within the audience, strangers to him, while other attendees escort him from the theater.
When he reenters the theater, he said he reads people’s minds to find his check.
“I will simply have them concentrate on it,” he said.
If he fails, he forfeits his fee. In five decades of performing, this has happened to him nine times—out of 6,000 shows. He recalled one notable performance in New Zealand where he lost $51,000 after being unable to find the check.
He also offers $1 million to anybody who can prove he employs secret assistants in any phase of his program.
“It’s a hell of a way to make a living,” he said with a chuckle.
Finding his check is just one of the feats Kreskin said he plans to perform Saturday, Oct. 13 during two shows at The Strand Theater on North Main Street in Zelienople.
“That is the climax of my program,” he said. “It’s been expected all over the world.”
Kreskin said audiences Saturday also could count on being involved in the show while he pulls thoughts from their heads. In past shows, he has plucked the planned baby name from the mind of an expectant mother and recited the dog tag numbers of a World War II veteran.
“They’re not really there to watch the show, they’re there to become a part of it,” he said of audiences.
At 77, the New Jersey native, who only takes off four days per month, is busier than ever. In a few weeks he will release his latest book, Conversations with Kreskin.
The book details his experiences with famous people, including Fallon and Johnny Carson—who reportedly based his character “Carnac the Magnificent” on Kreskin—and features a cartoon based on his early life.
“This is the 19th book I’ve written and this is the most exciting book I’ve written,” he said.
The mentalist also said he is particularly in demand these days with people eager to know his predictions for the upcoming presidential election. But when it comes to Barack Obama and Mitt Romney, Kreskin is keeping his lips sealed.
Months ago, Kreskin said he made a prediction and had it sealed a safe. It will be revealed after the election, he said.
In the meantime, he joked he’s plenty busy reading the candidates minds long distance.
“And I’m getting a blank!” he said.
Tickets for Kreskin’s 3 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. performances Saturday, Oct. 13 at The Strand are on sale now. For information, or to order through The Strand Box Office, call 724.742.0400 or online at www.thestrandtheater.org.